Futura Type Poster

Project

Creative Brief

Background Summary: A type specimen poster needs to be created for Futura.

Overview: The type specimen poster needs to show Futura in action through different examples of its use. It will also need to be eventually printed at 18×24.

Drivers: The poster design should meet three objectives: it should cleanly and clearly illustrate the power behind Futura in modern designs, it should illustrate its history, and it should educate in its proper use and potential.

Audience: The poster design will be targetted to designers who are looking for a modern typeface to advocate the use of Futura in designs, and to educate the significance of Futura to the general public.

Tone: Modern, clean, and efficient are adjectives to describe Futura. Audiences should have an easy time to interrept this tone through the poster’s designs.

Message: Futura is a modern typeface, no matter when it was used in its history.

Visuals: Art deco and a sort of retro-futurism could be used to illustrate the 80+ year life of Futura. This blending of old style and near futuruistic appeal helps to solidify the idea that Futura has been a modern font through its history, dispite changing tides and fickle trends.

Details: The poster design must include the type anatomy displayed, full alphabet, numbers, and symbols shown, using the typeface in a paragraph (could be used to describe the typeface, or its designer, compare to two other typefaces (that pair well with, or perhaps invented by the same designer, example of a best case scenario on how to use the typeface, and the final project must be presented as a PDF, and the finished design needs to be printed.

Targeted Message: “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow.”


Research

Who created it: Paul Renner
When and were was it released: 1927, Germany
Classification: Geometric, sans-serif typeface
source

About the designer: Paul Renner was born on August 9, 1878 in Wernigerode, Germany. He was a graphic artists, as well as painter, type designer, author, and teacher. During his career, Paul Renner cofounded a private school for illustration, and later became the head of commercial art and typography department at Frankfurter Kunstschule (the Frankfurt Art School). He died on April 25, 1956 in Hodingen, Germany.

Other Typefaces Created: Beyond Futura and its different styles, Paul Renner also created Ballade, Plak, and Renner Antiqua.

Purpose: The typeface was created by Renner with influences from the Baugaus style. It offers a consistent look and helped designers get away from grotesques typefaces to offer something more uniform and modern.

Notable Mentions: Stanley Kubrick is a fan of Futura, and has used it throughout his movies. Futura has also been used in created Clavin Klein logo, among others.
source

As I researched Futura, I knew that I wanted to portray it differently than most other typeface posters. I began to think about the movie Metropolis. I find myself drawn to the idea of using art deco and a sort of retro-futurism to express Futura. source

Metropolis release date: 1927
Were did it premiere: Berlin, Germany
Genre: German Expressionism and predecsssor to modern Science Fiction
source

How Metropolis could set the tone for Futura: I found it interesting how Metroplis and Futura were released in the same year, within the same country. Both strive to portray an ultra-modern style. Of course Metrpolis takes on a more sinister approach.


Concepts & Sketches

I needed a place to start sketching.
I went ahead and started creating thumnails. It wasn’t easy for me to sit down and churn out 12 ideas for the typeface poster, however after a few moments, I began doing just that. In the end I created about 20 thumbnails and sketches.

I initially began my thumbnails with as many different ideas as I could think of. Some included art deco stylings, Edison bulbs, and abstract shapes. However I soon came to realize I wanted to incorporate buildings and some sort of cityscape.

This sketch shows a cityscape with a setting sun receding midway into the poster. There we see “Futura” which will be followed by a subheading, most likely “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow.” Below that at the bottom will be the rest of the projects requirements such as the alphabet, numbers, special characters, etc.

Note: Each concept has similiar stylings I think would be anice take on Futura. For instance, the addition of “film grain”, dark colors, smoke, etc. will create the additional Noir stylings I’m interested in.

Content: “Futura” takes center stage as the typface name. Below is resides the subheading “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow”.

Below that will live the descriptive paragraph about Paul Renner and below that the alphabet, numbers, and symbols samples.

Departing from the cityscape direction, I though about using an interesting perspective approach. This sketch show a viewer looking up a few buildings, creating a sense of perspective and strength through the strong lines in the buildings’ archetecture.

I’m fortunate to live in a city that has buildings with Art Deco architecture. I was thinking I could take pictures and have them translated into the poster’s design.

Potential problem with this sketch is that there may not be enough space for the title, subheading, and other requirements. There will need to be planning into the photo’s composition to ensure there is proper spacing once used on the poster.

Note: Each concept has similiar stylings I think would be anice take on Futura. For instance, the addition of “film grain”, dark colors, smoke, etc. will create the additional Noir stylings I’m interested in.

Content: Futura and it’s subheading “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow” are the left, along with the descriptive paragraph about Paul Renner. On the right is the alphabet, numbers, and symbols samples.

This concept is structured similiarly to my previous sketch, however it offers a bolder take on the city, with a large sun in the background. This was taken from my inspiration search and found that the Empire State building had a similiar motiff.

The cityscape is also large and more impressive than the previous sketch. I believe this creates a sense of importance with the city and makes it more ominious as a result.

Note: Each concept has similiar stylings I think would be anice take on Futura. For instance, the addition of “film grain”, dark colors, smoke, etc. will create the additional Noir stylings I’m interested in.

Content: “Futura” takes center stage as the typface name. Below is resides the subheading “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow”.

Below that will live the descriptive paragraph about Paul Renner and below that the alphabet, numbers, and symbols samples.

Taking a different approach with the cityscape, I used the principal building as a central point and drew an “eye” shape. The rays coming from the building help to create the illusion of an eye, perhaps looking to the future.

The title and subheading have a more prominent role in this sketch. I see it as a major element in this concept.

Note: Each concept has similiar stylings I think would be anice take on Futura. For instance, the addition of “film grain”, dark colors, smoke, etc. will create the additional Noir stylings I’m interested in.

Content: “Futura” takes center stage as the typface name. Above it resides the subheading “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow”.

Below that will live the descriptive paragraph about Paul Renner and below that the alphabet, numbers, and symbols samples.


Final

It was good to see my sketch transition from the paper to the screen. I believe I struck a balance in trying to incorporate my visual research such as art deco, the Metropolis poster art, and Noir styles.

The challenging part of laying out the typeface information was trying to incporate other typefaces Paul Renner created. In this instance, I used Renner Antiqua for “A modern typeface for today and tomorrow” and also Plak for “About the man behind the typeface”.

I was conflicted between calling out these other typefaces, or simply letting them live softly and quietly on the poster. After all, it’s a typeface specimen for Futura. I didn’t want these other typefaces to be distracting.

I also want to rework the bio at the bottom. I feel it needs more pizazz.

Skills: Print Design